Danged Old Dallisgrass


Oh, how I miss MSMA. It was the weedkiller that I recommended to readers and listeners for the first 41 years of my career here in Texas. It would kill dallisgrass without killing bermuda, and you could really see the results.

But MSMA is gone, as in removed from the market 30 months ago, and dallisgrass has already totally claimed entire commercial and residential lawns. It’s epidemic, and we have no selective spray to control it.

Your Two Options
If you have a couple of clumps of this assertive weed, my recommendation is that you dig them out with a sharpshooter spade, and that you do so sooner rather than later. Every seed that dallisgrass clumps produce will be viable — it requires no pollination. Get rid of it as soon as you see it.

Your other choice would be to spot-treat with a glyphosate-only herbicide such as the original Round Up. It will kill the dallisgrass, but it will also kill any bermuda, St. Augustine or other type of turf on which it falls. That means you’ll want to use a wand or small spray that lets you direct the herbicide very precisely.

Does a pre-emergent herbicide help? Yes, but only a very little. It would stop the germination of new seedlings, but it would do nothing to affect the existing plants.

So, if you have this nasty weed invading your turf, here’s your psychological hug around the shoulder. With it, the suggestion that you’d better get out and start dealing with it!

Posted by Neil Sperry
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